Milestone achieved : UK celebrates 50 years of Pride

todayJuly 8, 2022 8

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Earlier, hundreds of LGBTQ+ community groups marched from Hyde Park Corner to Whitehall Palace. Pride was resurrected for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, with revellers donning face paint, glitter, jewels, and sequins. Ava Max and Emeli Sande performed at the event, which was dubbed “the most inclusive in history.”


The parade paid tribute to the original 1972 march, which was organized by the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), and participants passed significant sites from the UK’s LGBTQ+ movement. Floats lined Park Lane ahead of the main march through the capital, led by GLF activists carrying placards that read “I was there in 1972.” After coming out as gay last month, Dame Kelly Holmes told a crowd in Trafalgar Square that she would “never live behind that curtain again.” At the parade’s front, Joe Locke, star of Netflix’s coming-of-age drama Heartstopper, said it was an honor to be celebrating “being queer when the world might not be so accepting.”

In 2022, Pride is unquestionably a party. People were dancing in the street, throwing candy, blowing whistles, and generally having a good time. Behind the Gay Liberation Front, which organized the first protest in 1972, a massive rainbow flag billowed out. There’s no doubt that it’s a long way from where it started, with a few hundred people risking arrest for kissing in the street. Thousands of people are following them, hoping to make their voices heard in the place where Pride was born 50 years ago. “I have never been able to say those words in 34 years, until two weeks ago, because of the fear of judgment and retribution that was instilled in me since the age of 18 because of the laws in the military and being in the public eye,” the Olympic champion explained.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, stated that the LGBTQ+ community is still in “danger.” “We saw an attack in Oslo just hours before that parade last week, where two people were killed and more than 20 were injured,” the Labour mayor said. “Today, we are marching for an open, accepting world. We’re marching today for those in Oslo who haven’t made the same strides we have.” The Metropolitan Police did not march in this year’s parade, as they have in previous years, after organizers asked them not to. Organizers said it reflected the “very real concerns” of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly about the police department’s handling of serial killer Stephen Port’s four murders of gay men. In the aftermath of inquiries that concluded police failings ‘probably’ contributed to the deaths of the young men, the force acknowledged concerns from the LGBTQ+ community.


On Saturday, it wasn’t just London that celebrated Pride. Shetland hosted its first Pride festival, the most northern celebration of its kind in the UK, complete with burlesque dancers, a samba band, and Vikings. Clacton, in Essex, also held its first Pride event, despite the fact that organizer Cheryl Piper said she never imagined Pride would come to the town. Overall, the entire United Kingdom lit up with all the colors of the rainbow, symbolizing the importance of love.


Written by: Relaks Radio

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